701-1413-00L  Population and Quantitative Genetics

SemesterAutumn Semester 2018
LecturersT. Städler, P. C. Brunner
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish

AbstractThis course is an introduction to the rapidly developing fields of population and quantitative genetics, emphasizing the major concepts and ideas over mathematical formalism. An overview is given of how mutation, genetic drift, gene flow, mating systems, and selection affect the genetic structure of populations. Evolutionary processes affecting quantitative and Mendelian characters are discussed.
ObjectiveStudents are able to
- describe types and sources of genetic variation.
- describe fundamental concepts and methods of quantitative genetics.
- use basic mathematical formalism to describe major population genetic concepts.
- discuss the main topics and developments in population and quantitative genetics.
- model population genetic processes using specific computer programs.
ContentPopulation Genetics:
Types and sources of genetic variation; randomly mating populations and the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium; effects of inbreeding; natural selection; random genetic drift and effective population size; gene flow and hierarchical population structure; molecular population genetics: neutral theory of molecular evolution and basics of coalescent theory.

Quantitative Genetics:
Continuous variation; measurement of quant. characters; genes, environments and their interactions; measuring their influence; response to selection; inbreeding and crossbreeding, effects on fitness; Fisher's fundamental theorem.
Lecture notesHandouts
LiteratureHamilton, M.B. 2009. Population Genetics. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, U.K.
Prerequisites / NoticeThere will be 5 optional extra sessions for the population genetics part (following lectures 2-6) for computer simulations, designed to help understand the course material.